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"Lord of the Seven Seas. Wow. My man, I'm such an incredible fan."
"Jesus, Tommy. Slather his balls in peanut butter, why don't you?"
"Sorry. My sister's a goddamn bitch.

―Tommy and Tessa meeting The Deep[src]

Tommy and Tessa, better known as The TNT Twins are minor characters in Season 3 of the Amazon series The Boys. They were fraternal twin supes who were active members of Payback during the 1980s.

The Boys series[]

Background[]

Payback Vintage

The TNT Twins alongside Payback in 1984.

The TNT Twins were members of Payback, a premier superhero team during their time in the 1980s. They fought alongside Crimson Countess, Gunpowder, Swatto, Mindstorm, Black Noir, and their leader, Soldier Boy. The Twins witnessed Soldier Boy’s beating of Black Noir during training, when the former interpreted his audition for Beverly Hills Cop as a challenge to his dominance. Both pleaded for Soldier Boy to stop, but feared him too much to intervene physically.

They were involved in a mission to Nicaragua in 1984. There, like Crimson Countess, they were convinced to help subdue Soldier Boy by Black Noir on the command of Vought, before turning him over to the Russians due to their immense disdain towards his violence and arrogance. They upheld the story that he had been killed by a Russian secret weapon.

In the late 80s and early 90s, Vought Studios produced a kids' show called "The TNT Smile-Time Hour," which aired on VBS and starred the TNT Twins. Each week, the Twins would sing and dance, play fun games, tell jokes, and teach kids important life lessons.

Season Three[]

The TNT Twins host the 70th annual Herogasm party, a lascivious sex party for Supes and sex workers to let loose. Soldier Boy wants to find the TNT Twins, in addition to the other members of Payback, so The Boys help him locate the members. During Herogasm, Soldier Boy arrives at the TNT Twins' home and confront Tommy and Tessa. The Twins panic and insist that the plot to subdue him and turn him over to the Russians was not their fault. Soldier Boy then demands to know whose fault it was, offering to consider sparing their lives if they tell him. The Twins maintain that it was Noir who masterminded the betrayal. Soldier Boy is doubtful about this, however, considering Noir's loyalty to Vought. It is then Soldier Boy hears a contemporary Russian song over Love Sausage's radio, which instigates a painful flashback to a time when he was held and tortured by the Russians. Still in the throes of his flashback, Soldier Boy begins to build up the energy necessary to fire his radiation infused energy blast. Seeing the danger, the TNT Twins join hands and attempt to fire their plasma bolts at Soldier Boy, only to discover that their powers have atrophied after years of disuse, and they can generate only a few ineffectual sparks. Their shock and dismay at their loss of power is short-lived, however, as Soldier Boy then fires his radiation-infused energy beam, vaporizing them both, destroying their home and killing dozens of supes and non-supes in the process.

Personalities[]

The TNT Twins were hedonistic, uncouth and perverted. They took over the hosting duties of the annual "Herogasm," an orgy among supes (though non-supe guests are also permitted when accompanied by a supe). Though neither one of them were sexually inhibited, Tommy is the more depraved of the two. When meeting The Deep for the first time, he revealed his feeling that that The Deep was "railroaded by that Starlight thing," suggesting his belief that Starlight's accusations were false or exaggerated. A greater testament to Tommy's perversion is the fact that he had installed hidden cameras in the toilets at Herogasm to video record exposed buttocks and genitalia while their unsuspecting guests were relieving themselves. Tessa was disgusted by this and by the fact that Tommy was obtaining this footage without consent.

Ironically, considering their mutual dependence in using their powers and the fact that they are fraternal twins, Tommy and Tessa loathed each other. While they can be cordial, even polite to others, their conversation is peppered with coarse insults directed at each other. But despite their mutual antipathy, they still choose to live together and co-host the annual Herogasm.

Powers[]

TNT-Twins-Powers

TNT Twins attempting to use their powers against Soldier Boy.

  • Plasma Generation: When the TNT Twins make physical contact with each other (i.e. holding hands) they activate their ability to generate bolts of explosive energy which resemble lightning, both in appearance and in that these bolts give off considerable heat as well as concussive force. While the nature of these discharges has never been revealed, the Twins are almost certainly generating electricity. Like actual lightning, the TNT Twins' discharges appear to convert the surrounding air to plasma. Their ability to produce this energy is accompanied with the catchphrase "TNT! Detonate!" The reason for this catchphrase when employing their powers has never been revealed. It seems doubtful that this saying is a necessary aspect to trigger their superpower, nor does it seem likely that this is merely a creative catchphrase invented by the Vought PR Team. The most likely explanation is that the TNT Twins use this phrase for the purpose of timing, so that both Tommy and Tessa fire their discharges simultaneously. These arcing bolts are lethal to ordinary humans, able to knock a full-grown man off his feet, leaving severe burns where the bolts strike. Moreover, these bolts are powerful enough to knock down a supe as strong and resilient as Soldier Boy, though they didn't actually harm him. In order to activate their abilities, the TNT Twins must be in physical contact with one another. It was implied that without each other's help, the twins are either completely powerless or perhaps the energy that they could produce on their own was significantly weaker and nonfatal to their opponents. It appears that after years of neglecting their superpowers, their ability to produce their plasma discharges fell into a state of atrophy. Even with the full power of their combined energies, the Twins could only exert a few ineffectual sparks.
  • Superhuman Strength (Tentative): There is some evidence to suggest that the TNT Twins had a degree of enhanced strength. While they did not display such strength in their live action appearances, they were depicted as physically attacking Soldier Boy in a cartoon reenactment of Payback's subdual of Soldier Boy. It is apparent, however, that whatever degree of strength they had, it was considerably less than that of Soldier Boy.
  • Superhuman Durability (Tentative): In the aforementioned cartoon reenactment of Soldier Boy's betrayal by Payback, the TNT Twins survived being physically repelled by Soldier Boy. If this re-enactment is accurate, then the TNT Twins must have had a degree of enhanced durability.
  • Superhuman Hearing: The TNT Twins possesses superhuman hearing, allowing them to hear better than humans. Like all Supes, they can hear higher frequencies that humans cannot

Weaknesses[]

Psychological[]

  • Dysfunction: While it is not a physical barrier preventing them from using their powers, the TNT Twins did not get along, despite their relationship and the fact that they cohabitated. Their unwillingness to cooperate even to maintain their abilities over the course of years had caused their powers to deteriorate to the point of uselessness.

Physical[]

  • Separation: In order to use their powers of plasma generation, the TNT Twins must be in physical contact with each other (usually by joining hands). If the twins were separated, they would be unable to use this ability.
  • Negligence: After years of disuse, the TNT Twins discovered they were unable to activate their ability of plasma generation, managing only a few ineffectual sparks.

Relationships[]

Trivia[]

  • They are original characters created for the Amazon adaptation and do not appear in the original Dynamite Entertainment comic book series by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson.

Commentary[]

  • The TNT Twins' moniker is not to suggest that their powers have anything to do with actual TNT, but more likely a pun on their first names, Tommy and Tessa (T and T). Actual TNT, or Trinitrotoluene, is a chemical compound most widely known for its explosive properties. Indeed, it is the standard comparative convention by which the explosive power of bombs and asteroid impacts are measured (e.g. 1 hydrogen bomb has the explosive power of approximately 10 megatons of TNT). The TNT Twins generate a form of energy that resembles lightning, not a chemical compound. Though like actual TNT, their discharges are explosive and give off considerable heat.
  • TNT Twins are a parody of many comic book characters, but they most closely resemble the Wonder Twins, extraterrestrial twins created for the Super Friends cartoon, eventually integrated into the DC Universe. Like the TNT Twins and the members of Payback in general, the Wonder Twins are notoriously inept. Also similar to the Wonder Twins, their powers are activated by physical contact and the use of a catchphrase.
  • They are also similar to the characters of Northstar and Aurora, twin mutants in Marvel comics who can generate bright light by interlocking hands.
  • They also resemble diminutive twin speedsters Mas y Menos, DC comics superheroes who can move at incredible speed and need physical contact with each other to use their abilities. They also use a signature battle cry - "Mas y Menos, si podemos!" - literally "Plus and Minus, yes we can!".
  • They also resemble Marvel Comics' Fenris, Andrea and Andreas von Strucker, twins who were bioengineered in utero by Arnim Zola, and are enemies of the X-Men. Like the TNT Twins, the Strucker twins must join hands to activate their powers. In the case of Fenris, Andreas fires a beam of concussive force, while Andrea fires a disintegration beam.
  • The TNT Twins are also a parody of pop duo siblings Donny & Marie Osmond, who also hosted a campy variety show.
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